Ornette Coleman "How Deep Is The Ocean"

Ornette plays standards (and with pianists) so rarely that I want to dig into what this early example of his band sitting in with Paul Bley does.  I also have lifted a bunch of his playing on "Embraceable You" but this performance of "How Deep Is The Ocean", an Irving Berlin Standard from the '30s, is a track I haven't really listened to before, from an album (Live at the Hillcrest 1958) I've been meaning to dig into more.
 
The horns play a unison intro line, it sounds loosely out of time but they clearly have played it together before as they are dead on with the stranger rhythmic parts. Really lyrical despite its length and curiosities.  They end with a dissonant major second and then the rhythm section comes in.
 
Don Cherry is playing some melodic stuff, not the strict melody but he plays sections of it, and plays some nice stuff on the changes. The register he plays in seems on the high side to me.  Maybe it's a tonal thing if he was already playing a pocket trumpet.  Bley comps rather traditionally, nice strong rhythmic pulses, but occasionally he pulls at the time when its coasting along.  There has to be trust to push against each other's time like that.

On the piano solo, they shift into a double-time feel, with Bley audibly singing along.  His playing is melodic and begins pushing away through some straight eighths and some upper note choices that seem a slight sidestep from traditional choices. As the solo develops, Charlie Haden really plays nice fat bass notes with beautiful time and note choices that propel the line forward.
 
Horn line coda, aha! The beginning is that final fragment of the melody, kind of as a launching point into something that sounds more like an Ornette composition.  So, in the end Ornette didn't really play much on this tune, he just wrote an interesting line based on the piece and they made that into bookends of a more traditional jazz performance.  One of the things I respect most about this early Ornette is that he always plays to his own strengths.  His two little improv moments in the break of the line are dazzling, and in this group setting where it's not about him, he just contributes his own stuff in small ways.  My favourite stuff straddles the line between traditional comfortable sounds and those that stretch the ear into new territory.

So I had to figure out the line, here it is.

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